-Jacob was now near the point of death and became sick. Joseph was told and he came to his father with his sons, Manasseh the older and Ephraim the younger. Jacob collected his strength and sat up in his bead for this occasion and spoke with his son recounting the LORD’s appearing to him at Luz (Bethel) in the land of Canaan (Genesis 28:12-19; 35:6-12) and His blessings that were promised to him. Those promises included fruitfulness in descendents that were too numerous to count, nations of people, and the land as an everlasting possession.
-Jacob claims Joseph’s boys as his own, which would lead to them having sections of land in the Promised Land 400 years later when they arrived back in Canaan as an inheritance. Thus Jacob gave Joseph one more portion than his brothers, which he took from the Amorite with military conquest (Genesis 48:22).
-The sons are brought before him but he cannot see them because of his old age. He kissed them and embrace them knowing that his time on earth was short. Now was the time to give them his blessing. He recounts the joy of being able to see his son Joseph’s face again after thinking he was dead for many years. God had blessed him even further by allowing him to see his grandchildren. Joseph bowed before his father in reverence taking his sons before him to give for the blessing. Manasseh was to go towards Jacob’s right hand and Ephraim to his left, but Jacob crossed his hands to anoint the younger over the older.
-The blessing to Joseph is important here. Jacob claims his God before whom his fathers Abraham and Isaac walked. He gives the LORD credit for being his Shepherd for all his life and the Angel who redeemed him from all evil. This denotes relationship on the part of Israel to the Living God. Here in this passage we can see the utter dependence he had on the Holy One to save him and lead him through his life’s journey. *Application* This same God is available to us today in an even more powerful way. We now have His full revelation through His Son Jesus Christ and have been given His Holy Spirit as a seal for our redemption (Ephesians 4:30) and One who is in us to give us His strength for living everyday life in His power. This has happen because of His new covenant with us ratified in the blood of Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8; 9; 12:24).
-Now the blessing of the lads comes as Jacob’s name will live on in them along with Abraham and Isaac. They will grow into a multitude of peoples in the earth. When Joseph sees that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim instead of the older Manasseh, it displeased him and he tried to correct it. However, Jacob refused and gave priority to Ephraim even though Manasseh is certainly blessed and will have a multitude of nations (peoples).
-Israel then said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers (Genesis 48:21).” Joseph eventually would be brought back (Genesis 50:25, Exodus 13:19, Joshua 24:32). *Application* We know that God has had His hand on Joseph from the very beginning of this saga and has guided him through many trials and tribulations toward the completion of a very important deliverance. God will continue to be with Joseph and us as we trust in His providence to guide.
Verse to memorize: Genesis 48:21